Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults or about 18% of the population, according to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America. The COVID-19 pandemic only added to the problem. Research shows there are three times the number of Americans reporting symptoms of anxiety in compared to pre-pandemic times.
If you think you’re battling anxiety, it’s time to get help.
What is anxiety?
Before you begin your search for a psychiatrist, psychologist, therapist, or counselor, it’s important to know what anxiety is.
Anxiety is an intense and persistent sense of worry or fear about everyday situations. Without a roadmap and clear understanding of what is driving your anxiety it can feel uncontrollable and seem to come out of no where, disproportionately to the situation you are currently facing.
What are the symptoms of anxiety?
Symptoms of anxiety include:
- Feeling nervous
- Feeling a sense of panic
- Increased heart rate
- Rapid breathing
- Troubling thinking about anything but your worry
- Difficulty sleeping
- Avoiding certain situations that trigger worry
When should you seek treatment?
Anxiety is a part of everyday life. It’s common to feel nervous before a work presentation or when you’re meeting new people, for example, so it’s sometimes hard to know what an acceptable level of anxiety is. Having a panic attack at 10:00 p.m. when you are sitting quietly at home, probably isn’t.
It’s likely you’ll know when your level of fear or anxiety is becoming too uncomfortable or unsustainable. In general, if your feelings of worry or fear are interfering with your ability to work or with your relationships, it’s time to get help.
How to find a therapist to treat anxiety
When you’re ready to take the first step to seek help, here’s where to start:
Check with your insurance provider
When you need to find any type of medical professional, it’s a good idea to start with your insurance company. Ask for a list of professionals in your area that are covered by insurance. It’s a good idea to get a list of at least 5-10 therapists in your area.
Consider asking your primary care doctor to review the list
If you have a good relationship with your primary care doctor, consider asking for their advice or a recommendation or referral to a psychiatrist or psychologist. He or she may be able to narrow the search for you.
Ask friends or family
If you feel comfortable, ask family and friends if they know of a good therapist in town – or even farther away now that virtual counseling is so widespread! They might suggest someone who’s not on your list of insured providers, but that doesn’t mean you should rule them out. You want to find someone you can trust and feel comfortable talking to.
Read online reviews
There are online reviews for everything, including therapists. Once you have the list whittled down, research a few online and see what others have to say about them.
Inquire about the provider or clinic’s approach
Before you schedule an appointment, call and ask a few questions. It’s important to know what kind of approach the therapist will take. You want a therapist that takes a BOLD approach to anxiety; one that will truly listen to your needs and provide customized treatment.
Meet with the therapist
Schedule an initial meeting with a therapist and see how it goes. Remember, you get to decide if this relationship is a good fit. During the first meeting, ask yourself:
- Do I feel comfortable talking to this person?
- Is the therapist invested in my well-being?
- Did the therapist ask me what I want to accomplish?
- Am I comfortable with the therapist’s plan moving forward?
- How would we proceed if I needed medication or medication management?
If you or someone you love is dealing with anxiety, don’t wait. Find a therapist, psychiatrist, or psychologist who can help. For those close in San Diego County, consider Bold Health; a facility that provides a holistic approach to anxiety disorders. Their goal is to focus on both the biological and psychological underpinnings of your anxiety and provide a customized treatment plan. Contact Bold Health today.